Wind Harvest International is looking to revolutionize the wind turbine industry with its new "egg-beater" counter-spinning vertical axis wind turbines.
The first image that comes to mind when someone says "wind turbine" are those monolithic rotary beasts sitting high atop their intimidating spires. Quite right, as those horizontal axis turbines are pretty much the industry standard.
But the industry has some innovative--dare I say rogue--companies looking to harvest wind energy in a more "vertical" way. Why, you ask? Apparently, vertical axis wind turbines offer some impressive advantages:
- Reduced life-cycle costs due to fewer moving parts
- Insensitivity to wind direction (read: it'll take whatever comes its way)
- Base-level generator and low center of gravity which allow for stable offshore implementation and direct-drive linkage
- Radar-friendly (unlike their horizontal counterparts)
Not surprising then to hear about NOVA's three-phase, six-year, Novel Offshore Vertical Axis Project and its goal to have 1 GW of vertical axis wind energy going to the grid by 2020.
Also worth noting is Windspire Energy (formerly Mariah Energy) and its multi-faceted windspires.
The only problem has been that vertical-axis technology has yet to be proven as efficient as the industry standard horizontal.
But taking center stage (for the moment) is a newer version of vertical axis wind turbine -- one that appears to give its makers a distinct niche in an ever-changing market. The key: keeping things low to the ground.
Wind Harvest International (WHI), headquartered in California, has developed a straight-bladed, vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) that offers the first cost-effective solution to harvesting high energy, turbulent near-ground winds.
Using a methodical approach that involved designing, building and verifying 11 different models, WHI has created a rugged VAWT and discovered the “coupled vortex effect”--two counter-spinning vortices to offset drag.
These turbines actually harness gusty winds, turning them into miniature tornadoes that allow for double the energy harvest (so WHI claims).
Moreover, they do not require the massive cranes and labor-intensive means of installation.
As a result, WHI’s Linear Array Vortex Turbine Systems (LAVTS) can achieve peak efficiencies near the theoretical limit for any type of wind turbine design and will be among the most cost effective of any turbine.
Learn more about Wind Power on eBoom's Wind Energy Learning Page.
Any opinion contained in this article is solely that of the writers, and does not necessarily shape or reflect the editorial opinions of Energy Boom. Energy Boom content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be advice regarding the investment merits of, or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of, any security identified on, or linked through, this site.